This Mel Gibson apology followed his arrest in 2006 for drinking and driving—it was the start of what became a pattern of racism, sexism and anti-semitism in subsequent years for the once leading man. While in custody, Gibson repeatedly insulted the arresting officers with a barrage of anti-Semitic and racist comments.
At one point Gibson confronted the Jewish officer with the following:
[expletive] Jews The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?
Many of the other statements were not released to the public.
The Mel Gibson Apology
After the incident, Gibson issued this apology:
After drinking alcohol on Thursday night, I did a number of things that were very wrong and for which I am ashamed.
I drove a car when I should not have, and was stopped by the LA County Sheriffs. The arresting officer was just doing his job and I feel fortunate that I was apprehended before I caused injury to any other person. I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested, and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable.
I am deeply ashamed of everything I said. Also, I take this opportunity to apologize to the deputies involved for my belligerent behavior. They have always been there for me in my community and indeed probably saved me from myself.
I disgraced myself and my family with my behavior and for that I am truly sorry. I have battled with the disease of alcoholism for all of my adult life and profoundly regret my horrific relapse. I apologize for any behavior unbecoming of me in my inebriated state and have already taken necessary steps to ensure my return to health.
In a separate Gibson apology the actor stated:
There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark. I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge.
Mel Gibson Apology Evaluation
Leaving aside the question of whether Mel retains any lingering anti-Semitic or racist beliefs, the Gibson apology, regardless of any internal demons, was well crafted. The fact that Gibson's popularity and career have been irreparably damaged as a result of his actions is an admittedly high price.
The question is whether the aftershocks following the Gibson apology are too high a price to pay. But considering the gravity of his statements and what they say to his fans about his character, many of his critics believe he got what he deserved.
His subsequent critically acclaimed movie, 'The Beaver', performed poorly at the box office and underwhelmed in rental sales.
Since then, he has appeared in a few films including 'The Expendables 3' (2014) where he was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award (Razzie), the one award no actor wishes to be connected to. The damage was clearly done, he's never had the same box office draw again.